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Climate Change & Plant Nutrients: Will the Grass be Greener on the Other Side?
11/04/2020 | 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm EST
As temperatures rise around the globe, a big question that remains unanswered in ecosystem ecology is how plants will respond to warmer climates. One of the keys to solving this puzzle is to go underground and analyze how the nutrients that plants need to grow, like nitrogen, will be affected by global warming. Kenna Rewcastle and her team have established a global network of climate change experiments located in ten different mountain ranges around the world to monitor how alpine meadow ecosystems respond to climate change, and to begin to answer some of these pressing ecological questions about the future of these ecosystems. Kenna will briefly describe the nitrogen cycle, making a case for the importance of this element when thinking about the health of terrestrial ecosystems. She will showcase the experiments and tools her team uses to study climate change in mountains. After sharing some of her results, Kenna will discuss how small changes to one soil nutrient can scale to much larger consequences for alpine plant communities and the animals and human societies that that are connected to these ecosystems.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER: Kenna Rewcastle is a PhD student in the Rubenstein School at the University of Vermont where she is pursuing her doctorate in Natural Resources. Originally from Tennessee, Kenna earned her bachelor’s degree in ecology from the University of Tennessee and spent a year working in Sweden studying the impacts of reindeer grazing on the carbon cycle as a Fulbright Fellow. Her research links experiments that study the effects of climate change to land management applications, helping to protect and conserve mountain ecosystems into the future. She enjoys both working and playing in the mountains, spending her free time snowboarding, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
What is a Virtual Teen Science Café? It is a free, fun way for teens to explore science, engineering and technology with local scientists, engineers and technology experts. Teens will “meet a scientist”, learn about their work, and be able to participate in informal discussions.
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